Develop a SART
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Because protocol development and revision are an ongoing, dynamic process, monitoring allows you to assess the need for policy adjustments. To help with the process, consider the following questions as a springboard to determine your protocol's challenges and successes:

  • Is the protocol consistently followed?
  • Has the protocol benefited the advocacy, medical, and legal response to sexual violence? How?
  • How are team members using the protocol?
  • Where, when, and why do agencies deviate from the protocol? Do certain trends need to be addressed?
  • Are there emerging issues not previously considered (statutory changes or technological and scientific advances in evidence collection)?

Monitoring protocol implementation is critical to an effective team response. For example, if a particular response is consistently not executed, it will be difficult to evaluate the SART's effectiveness. The point is not to hinder innovation that can improve the response, but to recognize that the effectiveness of a coordinated response is based on the consistent follow-through of endorsed principles and policies. In other words, deviations from the response cannot help to improve the response if they are not understood and ultimately supported by the whole team.

Methods for monitoring protocol implementation can take many forms. Some teams use completed checklists, a review of records or cases, and self-reporting from responding team members to determine the level to which the protocol is being implemented. Others incorporate anonymous victim experience surveys into their assessment process. To be successful, the monitoring plan should be connected to short-term and long-range goals for improving the response. For example, if teams believe that early disclosure will result in victims getting more of their needs addressed, a monitoring plan may underscore the initial, acute response to sexual violence.